An attempt to answer possible concerns, objections, & criticisms of Search for Truth content
We recently received repeated criticisms which were, at heart we believe, related to one or both of the following: Our message and/or our messengers.
In a further effort to prevent future misunderstandings, let us be perfectly clear regarding any inferred or presumed claims regarding the material on this blog:
We sure as hell don’t know all the spiritual answers; we can see only from our own insignificant perch
It’s entirely possible that ALL of the suggestions here at Search for Truth are in error. The truth is, we could be as wrong as anyone; the content here on this blog represents only our own opinions, which are just as certain to be as tainted by perspective as any other worldview or set of beliefs promulgated or pushed by any other group, church, site, or blog.
The truth is, humanity is simply not privy to details of that which is ephemeral. Humans cannot and do not know what rests beyond the curtain of reality — despite the often powerful spiritual experiences we and many others have had and often enjoyed during times of heightened ‘connection’.
Search for Truth writers and contributors can speak only from the unique perspectives of those who share specific experiences, knowledge, opinions, spiritual experiences, and all the other qualities that make individuals the wholly unique beings they are… precisely as must all others. (As far as we know, there are no exceptions to this rule.)
These and many other prerequisite understandings serve as pillars upon which all of the material here at Search for Truth is wholly dependent.
Criticizing the spirituality of our writers
Some of the more unfortunate, misguided criticisms of the content here within the pages of the Search for Truth blog claim that our writers and contributors have failed to experience the "above-average levels of spirituality" supposedly characteristic of certain commenters. While we always rejoice in what may very well be the enlightenment and/or amazing spiritual experiences and advancement of our readers, claims that our own contributors are in some way more spiritually deficient than that of the average devoted spiritual seeker/practitioner are probably unfounded… though criticisms are tolerated thanks to what is probably at least a mildly improved ability to NOT take any comment or criticism personally. (Nor should you, dear reader; whatever anyone says or does to you is based much more upon on their own personal issues than yours.)
It is important to note that the Search for Truth blog does not purport to lead readers to enlightenment, to the amazing peace which passes all understanding, or to any other uniquely high level of spiritual existence. Search for Truth — as clearly stated in the subtitle (Religious & political fundamentalism vs. reason, science, truth, universal spiritual principles (OR) Why we left the church) — is a rational blog which seeks to emphasize the unifying and practical over the divisive superstitious, supernatural belief systems that serve mainly to create problems for humanity, cause wars, and so on.
What is this religious fundamentalism you’re criticizing?
Readers should first understand what we mean by religious fundamentalism. This includes belief systems such as literalist Christian fundamentalism, many versions of which insist that our universe is less than 10,000 years old… that a snake and a donkey have each literally spoken human words… that YOU, the reader — unless you share their exact beliefs and practices — are absolutely hellbound and a scourge of society. (We do NOT criticize any respectful, tolerant belief system.)
How or why would it be wrong for freethinking, rational folks to criticize such closed-minded, judgemental, superstitious worldviews? (Our criticism includes Biblical literalism as well as Koran literalism, Mormon literalism, Scientology literalism, and any other closed system which purports to be the only valid path to inner peace, God, Source, mother nature, universal intelligence, or whatever else one might prefer to call the unknowable ultimate reality.)
It’s not easy to formulate novel ways to communicate the following idea: Please don’t reject a message just because the deliverer lacks perfection, or merely because unresolvable philosophical paraxodes exist, etc.
Underlying pretext of all human communication
It would be quite impractical for us to preface every post with an exhaustive description of the principle of perspective, the difficulties inherent in human communication, the nature of words as only approximate representations or symbols of what is meant, the senstive nature of the subject matter, and the ultimate unknowability of what constitutes total reality, etc. (We will soon address a number of related ideas and concerns via a FAQ-type document.)
Imperfections of messenger: Having a laugh?
I’ve already wondered aloud as to how these kinds of messages (e.g., ideas similar to those promoted within the pages of Search for Truth) might be delivered if perfection or perfect adherence to a given message by the messenger were actually a prerequisite to the validity of said message. Were messenger perfection required, who’d be left to deliver any message, anytime, anywhere?
However, it is entirely possible that I misunderstood the related comments/criticism. I can think of other possibilities as to their meaning(s), the first being a personally grim one…
Messenger as untrustworthy, unreliable, unbelievable
Firstly, it’s possible that the underlying intent or meaning of previous criticisms — those described earlier as being tainted by the logical fallacy known as ad hominem — was that this author is not merely imperfect, but rather so far off the mark of decency, or of such ill repute that any positive message coming from such a writer would be silly and ought to be rejected outright.
Message as having negative components
A second possibility: Commenters were suggesting that no position ought be taken ‘against‘ anything (acts, belief systems, etc.) due to the inherent negativity of speaking out against a thing. One might be positing that only more positive positions — those ‘for‘ certain things — ought to be adopted and communicated. In other words, don’t be negative; strive to remain positive. That may have been part of the issue.
Messenger has offended commenter in unresolved way(s)
A third possibility is that the critic has been personally hurt, offended, dissed, or even harmed in some way by the blogger.
Reaction to issue #1 (Messenger ‘sins’, foibles)
The first possible issue would be a tough pill to swallow personally, but this imperfect blogger would certainly be willing to listen — that is, if specifics were given (as opposed to the mere making of assumptions due to hearsay, presumption, suspicion, club memberships, lack of certain club memberships, et al).
If criticism of our message is rooted thusly, then it would probably serve to underscore the underlying paradoxes of philosophy and human communication we’ve been discussing. Wouldn’t the accuser then become judge and jury — perhaps similar to the commenter’s intial objections, or related to what was being highlighted via comment in the first place? Furthermore, would not pointing out any imperfections of the commenter also invalidate the commenter’s words, suggestions, claims to ‘superior spirituality’, and advice to others, as well?
Reminder: Naturally, accusations of a personal nature, whether truthful or not, should never be made in a public forum such as this. :O (Email or face time would be more appropriate.) One should neither make nor receive any such criticism here.
Reaction to issue #2 (Negative components of message)
As to the second possibility (re: adopting PRO views and avoiding ANTI positions), I have heard this idea being promoted by modern spiritual teachers/thinkers such as Wayne Dyer and others. It is not a wholly bad idea, but does it then mean we should fail to speak out against pollution, superstition, or otherwise react negatively toward perceived social or environmental injustices? Are environmentalists wrong to speak out for those/that which has no voice?
In other words, where does one suppose the line should be drawn between speakers/writers and those things, if any, that should never be criticized verbally/in writing?
We rather doubt this second issue was the intended objection; even so, who could possibly argue against positivity being a wonderful quality?
We’d love for our message to convey the consistent positivity of Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World, a recent book by the Dalai Lama — which outlines a message we support repeatedly and wholeheartedly here within the pages of the Search for Truth blog.
For those who have not read the fabulous Beyond Religion, the Dalai Lama’s central mission therein is to promote basic universal spiritual principles in a wholly secular, non-religious, non-cultural (or otherwise divisive) context.
In limiting our content to the perfectly positive, however, we would certainly fail to reach that handful of Christian fundamentalists who strongly desire to hear a comparatively rational perspective and/or reasonably objective criticism of the incumbent, only-we-are-right teachings: Views & experiences rarely discussed within Christian fundamentalist churches. Such information-craving believers definitely exist, for we’ve heard from them; questioning Christian fundamentalists are a major reason we bother publishing this content at all. (We understand that those unfamiliar with such rigid teachings & upbringings may question our resolve in this area: Completely understandable.)
No human completely refrains from judgment
Indeed, even something as innocent and well-intended as adding a comment on a blog for the purpose of criticizing or judging a blogger’s words implies that the commenter — exactly like the author, or any other writer or blogger on earth for that matter — neither possesses nor practices an ideal (e.g., non-existent) level of tolerance and acceptance for the messages and beliefs of others.
(Does that example make any sense? I beg readers who have left comments here not to take that as a personal insult in any form or fashion; I certainly would not knowingly insult anyone who’d take their valuable time to read and comment here on this lowly Search for Truth blog.)
I’m merely trying my ‘damndest’ (is that a word?) to point out the ultimate impossibility of avoiding spiritual or behavioral paradoxes in human action, human communication, human judgment, opinion, behavior, etc. — particularly concerning such proverbially sensitive subject matter as spirituality, religion, or politics.
Oneness vs. separateness; monism & duality
We believe in the ultimate reality of oneness and unity; yet, most of humanity speaks and acts separately for various reasons, not the least of which is the ego. If we were to speak only the language of oneness, then only those who already view reality in such a way would care to read.
I thank all who spend any of their valuable time here.
(after all, [some] fellow may’ve flirted with married women, accepted funds for jobs yet uncompleted, smoked pot on an almost daily basis in college, taken prescription drugs, enjoy a half-pint of vodka on occasion, and on and on ad infinitum) (The aforementioned social travesties may have been committed by said fellow, yet would still represent only a few of the so-called sins committed… )